The Making of Mami Tomoe

Update: This is a heavily delayed post due to some issues with Imageshack’s f***ing “domain unregistered” issue, preventing my images from being displayed. I just managed to find time to manually upload these images, sorry.

Warning: Picture-heavy post ahead!

The display event held by the Team Oniichan crew in the recently held Otaku Expo 2011 in SM Megamall Megatrade Hall last September 3 and 4 was definitely a success. We all had fun overlooking our figures and enjoying what the convention has to offer. You can check out our members’ event related blogs for more wacky and awesome pictures.

I haven’t posted in the last two weeks since I was too busy finishing up this particular project. And thanks to the encouragement and moral support my brother and crewmates in Team Oniichan gave, she was able to make her successful debut just in time for the event. (I brought her to the ingress with the paint on her muskets still wet, haha!)

I am talking about the garage kit of Mami Tomoe. I am not really a die-hard fan but I do like her enough to make me immortalize her in a customized garage kit displaying an “alternative ending”. If you watched the anime, you should know what I am talking about.

I admit that this is not the best rendition of Mami but I did gave my best in making her. Besides, it’s still soothing to know that I have that only version of her in the whole world :D

In any case, I will just take this time to shed some light on how she came to be. How was she made? I’ll provide some brief explanations and pictures along the way so you won’t get bored.

How do you like them guns?

Main Figure

First off, I needed a base figure. I scoured the on-stock items of the site I usually order from and this particular kit captured my attention instantly. The pose, the uniform and the penguin immediately gave me the idea on how Mami will probably look like.

I am not familiar with the character but according to MFC, she’s Haramura Nodoka from the anime Saki.

Next, I needed a hat. I got a perfect hat for her from one of my trading figures (the chibi version of Sheryl Nome). Also, if you noticed, her pigtails are a bit more thicker than the next images. I needed to trim it down to make it as close as the original character design.

Next, I filled her v-neck with some putty and tried attaching a collar from one of other kit’s spare parts. I originally planned to use the tie in the image but I opted to use a ribbon instead.

Next, using a mini-grinder, I scratched off some part of the uniform in her arm part to make way for some “skin” underneath. I also need to use putty to shape up the edges.

Next, I’ve spread a thin layer of putty on her legs and shaped it as her high boots.

The shape of her uniform isn’t smooth and it doesn’t really show her curves so I have to slice some of the lower parts and apply putty as well to shape it up. This process will take several days since I need to sand, prime and re-apply the putty to get a strong, smooth layer around the sliced parts. I’ve done this also by keeping the lower half of her body attached so I can follow her waist’s curves. I used petroleum jelly on the lower half to prevent any putty from sticking on it permanently.

Then, I placed a line of putty in the middle to form the shape of a part of Mami’s costume.

For the ribbons, I’ve used the ribbons that were part of the Asuka “Ori” garage kit since I haven’t finished her (or been lazy to finish her). I bended the ribbons freely by softening them up with a heat gun. Maybe I’ll paint this Asuka without the ribbons next time, haha!

The photos below will show the progression of the kit as its been painted. I have to repaint a few spots since they got wrinkled during the masking process. Blu Tack really helped a lot in the masking process as well.

I’ve used Tamiya Acrylics for my garage kits. Those are the small paint bottles you can buy from hobby shops who also sell gunplas, rc cars, model cars, planes, etc. And for my paint sealer (something like a protective coating to prevent your paint from being scratched off) I’m using this:

Yes, its a floor polish. But make no mistake; this is the same type used by professional gk and gunpla modelers internationally. And it’s pretty cheap too!

The “feather” on her hat was not plucked from some unlucky fowl so rest assured that no animals were hurt when making this project. I luckily found a cellphone accessory that has this feather so I bought the whole damn thing for this tiny feather.

Finally, I tried making her eyes more transparent to make them resemble her original design in the anime but it looked creepy in the end so I just decided to go with darker colors.

Charlotte

Charlotte is the witch Mami faced in EP 3 of the anime. It didn’t end up well for Mami so I want to immortalize a different scenario by making her subject helplessly to our heroine’s arms. And somewhat render her harmless, like a cute li’l ragdoll.

So to start off, I smoothed the penguin piece that came along with the original kit, then test fitted it.

Next, I needed some extra pieces for the ears and body. That’s when I selected one of my older bootleg trading figures to play as the sacrificial lamb. Behold, Aizen of the anime Bleach. I hated the bastard so I’ll admit I really had this “fluffy-fluffy” feeling while cutting him up. (*insert maniacal grin here*)

So after mutilating the bastard, his bum and yukata became Charlotte’s body while his sleeves became her ears. It will take more puttying to shape them up. Since Mami will be holding Charlotte, I deliberately positioned her right ear to bend to the back.

I’ve used a simple black cloth then put some red dots using a paintbrush to create her neckwarmer (or something) then secured Charlotte’s head with her body using a short piece of iron wire.

Muskets

These are pretty complicated if you’ll follow the original design. Due to time and material constraints, I just opted for a much simpler design. The final models have missing triggers and aiming sights on the muzzles.

First I downloaded some musket designs and printed the actual size in paper. Next, I procured the base materials: microwavable containers. You can buy these cheap in major grocery stores. I also know some people using this to organize their nendos and figmas.

I cut a small sheet first then traced the design on it. Using my hobby knife, I carefully cut through the plastic to form the gun’s shape.

Basically, it takes 3 layers to get the favorable thickness that will fit my 1/8 Mami. I used some instant glue and sandwiched the three layers together. It will be preferable if you use the same clips I’ve used in the image since they fit perfectly and hold the layers securely.

After the layers have dried, You need to apply a good layer of putty to hide the cracks and smoothen the sandwiched edges. I’ve sanded the edges then used empty ballpen ink tubes as muzzles. I also used a small iron wire to serve as the watchamacallit-thingy under the muzzle (sorry, I’m not really familiar with gun parts that much). To insert it, I have to heat it so it will melt through the plastic.

For the details, I’ve hand-painted them using Tamiya Black and Silver enamels.

Base

I used some insulating foam from refrigerator walls, a CD case, some masonry putty and Plaster of Paris to create the base.

I wanted to make it float so I acquired one of the older bases from one my trading figures (again). The metal rod that will serve as the stand was from our old divider.

Once the putty is semi-dry, I started making chessboard patterns on the floor. When it is almost dry, I started adding floor damage by chipping some dried parts and making cracks. After drying, I’ve sanded it and painted it.

The Finished Product

High quality shots courtesy of Philanime.com

Look, even Woody can’t help peeking what’s underneath. That pervy cowboy…

You can find more gallery pics by visiting my Facebook Page.

Ciao~!

Vhayste™

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This entry was posted in Anime Conventions, Garage Kits and tagged by vhayste. Bookmark the permalink.

About vhayste

Vhayste is a Filipino game walkthrough writer who's a fan of RPG games, shooters, strategy and adventure games. His works can be found on major gaming sites such as IGN, Supercheats, Gamefaqs, Neoseeker, etc. He is also an amateur garage kit modeler and a fond collector of PVC figures. He's into mechs (though he shied away from building gunplas), cars, fighter planes, history, astronomy, paleontology, general science, dogs, pasta, rootbeer and of course, chicks.

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